Watershed Planning – Manuals & Guides

Watershed Planning Guide (California Coastal Conservancy, 2001)

Developed by the Coastal Conservancy for local watershed groups, the document provides a short (18 page) overview of the process of developing a collaborative watershed plan, from the assessment phase to implementation actions. This process guide assumes there is enough local knowledge of the critical watershed issues that the assessment process will also include the focused technical studies. How to work with consultants is one of the sections, along with plan structure, committee structure, project milestones, and typical stumbling blocks.

Washington Watershed Planning & Management Guide (Washington State DOE, 1999)

This manual has been developed as an aid to citizens, local governments, Indian tribes, and others interested in watershed planning under the Washington Watershed Management Act. The manual presents the requirements of the Watershed Management Act, but also goes further by offering a variety of suggestions for navigating the planning process to achieve the objectives stated in the law. Except where clearly indicated in the text, the approaches offered in this manual are voluntary. It is anticipated that each planning unit will use elements of this manual as they deem appropriate. A full copy of the Watershed Management Act is attached as Appendix A for further reference to the law’s specific provisions. [Note: Emphasis is on water supply planning.]

Watershed Protection Audit (Center for Watershed Protection, 2001)

An urban land use tool developed in Maryland, this guide walks community “trainees” or volunteers through the steps to understand the current land use strategies and practices in place for the watershed. “Eight Tools of Watershed Protection” help identify the strengths and weaknesses of the existing situation.

Getting in Step: Engaging and Involving Stakeholders in Your Watershed (EPA, Jan. 2003)

This document builds on an earlier guide called "Getting In Step: A Guide to Effective Outreach in Your Watershed" (PDF, 5.3MB). This new guide provides the tools needed to effectively identify, engage, and involve stakeholders throughout a watershed to restore and maintain healthy environmental conditions.


Community Culture and the Environment: A Guide to Understanding a Sense of Place (EPA, 2002)

Understanding community social systems can be key to successful environmental protection outreach and education. The Community Culture and the Environment: A Guide to Understanding a Sense of Place is a flexible toolbox for understanding the social dynamics involved in community-based efforts. Users will learn about such things as local knowledge about community issues, the language community members use, influential subgroups within the community, historical trends in the community, environmental and other community priorities, and other social factors. This information is crucial in developing sustainable strategies for community participation and planning regarding environmental protection.

River Talk! Communicating a Watershed Message (River Network, 1998)

River Talk! is a book for those who want to be more efficient and effective in encouraging people in key sectors of their communities to get involved in river and watershed protection. This hands-on guide explains how to do research to determine who the people are who can make a difference, what their knowledge, values and concerns are relative to the watershed, and how to develop messages that will move them to action. National and regional polls and focus group research are summarized, and the text includes real-life examples of how river groups use research and messages effectively.